pakistan national assembly and trust motion against imran khan government

The vote is yet to happen despite passage of more than 12 hours since the National Assembly session started

The vote is yet to happen despite passage of more than 12 hours since the National Assembly session started

Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan held an emergency meeting of his Cabinet on April 9 night as he vowed not to resign and “fight till the last ball”, even though his Government is expected to lose a no-confidence motion in the National Assembly.

Mr. Khan chaired the emergency Cabinet meeting where it was decided that he should not resign, sources said.

The emergency Cabinet meeting has taken many by surprise as Mr. Khan has little chance of surviving the no confidence motion against him.

Later, Mr. Khan met with a group of his favorite journalists, who are known for defending him in the talk-shows, and rejected rumors about making any change in the Army leadership. The cricketer-turned-politician also announced that he will not resign and “fight till the last ball”.

He said he was not interfering in the process of implementing the orders of the Supreme Court to hold a no-confidence vote.

Meanwhile, top courts have become active and the Islamabad High Court and Supreme Court were expected to become operational by midnight to take action if the orders to complete voting on a no-confidence motion against Mr. Khan were not implemented till the end of the day.

Chief Justice of Pakistan Umar Ata Bandial, who had instructed the relevant officials of the top court to open the doors at 12 am, has reached the apex court, sources said, as the National Assembly Speaker Asad Qaiser is yet to allow voting on the no -confidence motion against Prime Minister Khan.

Islamabad High Court’s doors are also being opened on the instructions of IHC Chief Justice Athar Minallah, sources said.

The joint Opposition has lodged an official complaint with the Speaker, urging him not to further delay the voting on a no-confidence motion against the Prime Minister. They said all authorities concerned including him were guilty of “gross contempt and liable to punishment in accordance with law”.

The joint Opposition needed 172 members in the 342-member house to oust Prime Minister Mr. Khan. They have garnered the support of more than the needed strength with the help of some allies of the ruling coalition and rebels from Mr. Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party.

Mr. Khan, who has been saying that he will fight till the “last ball”, has been claiming that the Opposition’s no-confidence motion against him was the result of a “foreign conspiracy” because of his independent foreign policy and funds were being channeled from abroad to oust him from power.

In an address to the nation on Friday, the 69-year-old Prime Minister reiterated his allegations that a senior US diplomat threatened regime change in Pakistan.

Army chief meets Imran Khan

Meanshile, Pakistan’s Army chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa on Saturday met Prime Minister Imran Khan amid an impasse over a parliamentary vote to oust the Premier, two sources familiar with the matter told Reuters.

Mr. Khan tried to block a no-confidence motion last week and dissolved the lower house of parliament, but Pakistan’s top court ordered on Thursday the vote would have to be held by Saturday.

The vote is yet to happen despite the passage of more than 12 hours since the session started on Saturday.

The proceedings of the National Assembly’s crucial session during which voting could take place on a no-confidence motion against Mr. Khan was adjourned till 9.30 pm on Saturday, shortly after it resumed after Iftar break.

The National Assembly has suspended its proceedings till 7:30 pm (IST 8:00 pm) for Iftar, the meal eaten after sunset during Ramzan to break the day’s fast.

Soon after the session resumed, it was again adjourned. The session will now resume at 9:30 pm (IST 10:00 pm) after Isha prayers.

The crucial session of the National Assembly to decide the fate of Prime Minister Imran Khan began on Saturday morning.

Shortly afterwards, Speaker Asad Qaiser decided to adjourn the session when Leader of the Opposition in the National Assembly Shehbaz Sharif took the floor on a point of order and made a small speech reminding the Speaker that he was bound to go ahead as per the apex court’s order.

During his speech, the lawmakers of Mr. Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) kept interrupting by constantly speaking and kept calling him a “beggar” – a tacit reference to his recent statement where he said, “beggars can’t be choosers”.

Speaking in the National Assembly session after the adjournment, Khawaja Saad Rafique of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) said the Speaker had promised that the voting would be held after Iftar.

According to Geo Newsthe voting is expected to take place after 8 pm The session was originally adjourned till 12:30 pm, but was seemingly delayed as Opposition and Government members held meetings.

Separately, the Government has filed a review petition against the apex court’s decision to set aside the Deputy Speaker’s April 3 ruling, the Dawn newspaper reported.

In a landmark 5-0 verdict on Thursday, a five-member bench of the Supreme Court headed by Chief Justice Umar Ata Bandial ruled that NA deputy speaker Qasim Suri’s ruling rejecting a no-confidence motion against Khan was “contrary to the Constitution”.

The apex court also declared the advice by Prime Minister Khan to President Arif Alvi to dissolve the NA as “unconstitutional” and ordered the speaker of the lower house to call a session on Saturday to organize the no-confidence vote.

(With inputs from Reuters)

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